You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1997

DehaLeesa Sthuthi : Part 3--Vamana /Trivikrama AvathAram

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Aug 16 1997 - 05:10:05 PDT

Dear BhakthAs :
 
I will cover in this posting three items  as a prelude 
to the actual coverage of DehaLeesa sthuthi . These are :
(1) Srimadh Bhagavatham's coverage of vamAna /Trivikrama 
avathAram (8th Canto ) that inspired Swami Desikan (2) His own 
reference to this meaningful avathAram in the 8th verse of 
MummaNikkOvai and (3 ) Sri NaarAyaNa Bhattadhiri's anubhavam 
of Sri GuruvAyurappan as Vaamana -Trivikraman in his 
Sri NaarayaNeeyam's 30th and 31st sargams . 

BhAgavatham 's coverage 
****************************

When amrutham was obtained as a result of the Lord's 
assistance as KUrma mUrthy , Indra and the DevAs got 
the upper hand in their battle with the asurAs and the kings 
of the asurA clan like MahA Bali were killed . The guru of asurAs ,
SukrAchAryA with his power of penance brought back to life , 
MahA Bali and his retinue throught the performance 
of a MahA Yajnam known as Visvajith . 

MahA Bali and his associates got restored to their lives and 
went after IndrA and the DevAs and drove IndrA 
from his  kingdom . The mother of IndrA , Athithi Devi 
appealed to her lord , Kasyapa PrajApathi and 
asked him for guidance on redressing the sufferings of their 
son , IndrA . Kasyapa PrajApathi advised his wife that the performance
of the PayOvratha hOmam consisting of the aahuthi of rice cooked in 
milk would please Sriman NaarAyaNA would lead to  the birth of 
a son , who would help IndrA regain his kingdom . Athithi Devi 
performed with austerity the recommended hOmam and 
had  the good fortune of having Sriman NaarAyaNA Himself
as her son ( Vaamana MUrthy ) . She appealed to her new -born
dwarf-staured son to help His brother , IndrA and restore his kingdom .

MahA Bali was restored to life not only because of the manthra balam
of SukrAchAryA , but also because of the vow given by the Lord during
NarasimhAvathAram to PrahlAdhan that He will not kill any of his 
descendants . MahA Bali was the grandson of PrahlAdhA . Hence , 
Sriman NaarAyaNA brought him back to life and to enact his avathAra
kaaryam as Vaamana -TrivikramA . 

Sriman NaarAyaNA responded to the austere performance of 
PayOvratham by the Deva MaathA . She had prayed to Him at 
the end of observance this way and the Lord responded as He
does to the sincere prayers of His bhaktha SikhAmaNis :

YagnEsa YagnyapurushAchyutha theerthapAtha 
theerthasrava SRAVANA MANGALA NAAMADHEYA I
aapanalOka vrijinOpasamOdhayAdhya 
sam na: krudheesa Bhagavannasi dheenanAtha : II
                        --- Srimadh Bhagavatham 8-17-8 

(Meaning ) : O Lord of the Yaj~nAs ! O Yaj~na rUpi ! 
O Achyutha , who does not let down any one , who sought 
your refuge ! O Lord , who has the Ganga theertham flow 
from Your sacrd feet ! O BhagavAn , who quenches the thirst of 
the SaraNAgathAs ! O Primeval Lord (Aadhi PurushA ) ! Please 
bless us with auspiciousness . Are not You indeed the one 
who comes to the rescue of the meek and downtrodden
(dheenAs ) ?

The Lord entered the Veeryam of Kaasyapa PrajApathi in response
to the prayers of Athithi . Our sAsthrAs state that the Jeevan stays in
the Purusha Garbham for two months and then enters the wife's 
garbham through garbhA dhAnam and stays there for ten months 
before coming out as a child . 

The Lord appeared as a son of Athithi after 12 months and 
incarnated on the day when SravaNa nakshathram and 
Dwadasi thithi were in unison . He appeared  with sankham 
and chakram in the Prakata ( shining , illustrious )
VaishNava RUpam ( in the divya rUpam as VishNu ) :

prAsUtha cha prakata VaishNava divya rUpam 
saa dvAdasi srAvaNa puNyadinE bhavantham 
                                --- Sri NaarAyaNeeyam : 30.4 

In the asramam of Kasyapa and Athithi , the Lord was born with
VishNu chihnams and the blessed parents eulogized the Lord 
and AT THAT MOMENT  , the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf 
brahmachAri :

BhadvAnjaleem Jaya JayEthi nutha: pithrubhyAm 
tvam Tath KshaNE patutamam vaturUpamAdhA : 
                                        --Sri NaarAyaNeeyam: 30.5

(Meaning ) : At that instant , when the parents were 
saluting the Lord with folded hands , He transformed 
Himself into a brisk BrahamchAri rUpam .

The great sage , Kasyapa performed Upanayanam for 
his" brahmachAri " son and the mother , BrahmA , Sarasvathi , 
Saptha Rishis  and  KubEran presented  Him 
with the insignias of Brahmacharyam
such as Munji belt made out of dharbha grass , PalAsa 
dhandam , deer skin ( KrishNAjinam ) , KankaNam , loin cloth,
Kamandalu , umbrella and , bikshApaathram . The Lord is never 
without His consort , MahA Lakshmi . He had her as always
on His chest and here in this brahmachAri rUpam , he 
had her covered under the deer skin .

The Lord shone with these symbols associated with 
the celibiate status and was ready for UpAkarmA /
VedhArambham . Surya Bhagavan blessed the Lord with
Gayathri Manthra UpadEsam , since he is the athishTaana
daivam for Gayathri manthram . He replaced the father's 
usual role here . The Deva Guru , Bruhaspathi  had presented 
earlier the Lord with YajnOpaveetham  . Kasyapa PrajApathi tied 
the munji belt around the waist of the Lord , his son . This 
munji belt according to AtharvaNa vedam banishes the 
rOgam associated with the bladder for BrahmachAris . 

BhUmi Devi presented Her Lord with KrishNAjinam 
to confer long life . The wearing of the deer skin on 
the celibiate's  body wards off Kshaya rOgam 
(tuberculosis ) as well . Chandran presented the Lord with
palAsa dhandham ( samith ) .BrahmachAris carry palAsa
dhandham to protect their memory of the VedhAdhyananam .
PalAsam is the name of Purasa tree , which has the three
branched growth in reverence to the TripAdha Gayathri 
that the DevAs meditated upon under it .  

BrahmachAris performing VedAdhyayanam have to 
rush to their Guru"s side for performing service at all
times including the mid day , when the sun is at its apex .
Hence , an umbrella is useful to them . When the heat 
from the sun affects the delicate circulation of the thin 
region of the skin covering the ears , the circulaton to 
the brain is affected and hence , BrahmachAris have to
protect themselves against the sun . 

Veda Viths must always have water for achamanam 
and prOkshaNam . Hence Kamandalu is carried by 
the ones exposed to the  VedhAs . Brahma DevA gave 
the kamandalu to the Lord anticipating the use of his
own kamandalu theertham to serve as Paadhyam
for the Lord's feet as it shot up towards his own home,
SatyalOkam . 

The BikshApAthram was given to the Lord by KubhEran ,
the Lord of wealth . UmA Devi as Anna pUrNi gave the first
Bikshai . Normally , the BrahmachAri asks his mother or 
sister after Upanayanam for Bikshai ( Bhavathi BikshAm DEhi ) .
The reason is that the BrahmachAri does not want to
encounter a negative response for his first Bikshai .
Srimadh Bhagavatham says in this context :

" BikshAm Bhagavathee SaakshAth 
UmAdhAdhambikhA sathee "

Brahmin's wealth is his penance . Brahma sUthram ( pUNal) 
protects that accumulated Tapas . Hence Brahspathi 
BhagavAn  appeared in person and presented the pUNal
to the Lord .

Surya BhagavAn initiated the Vaamanan with Gayathri
manthram for Loka kshEmam . Gayathri is recited 
according to Bhishma for the preservation of
auspiciousness in the world and to avoid akAla mrithyu
( Na tathra mriyathE bAla: Gayathri yathra japyathE ) .

The Lord equipped with all the insignias of a celibiate 
who has performed His upAkarmA walked towards the
Yaaga SaalA of MahA Bali :

chathram sadhandam sajalam kamandalum
vivEsa vipraddhayamEdha vAtam I
mounjyA mEkalayA veetham
upaveethAjinOttharam II
jatilam VAAMANAM vipram mAyA mANavakam Hari: II

( Meaning ) : Hari NaarAyaNan travelled thus towards the 
yAgasAlA of the AsurA king wearing the kusA rope belt ,
carrying the umbrella , kamandalu , palAsa dhandham 
and hiding His extraordinary power and the gigantic form
that he was going to take soon . 

Bhagavatham says in the next slOkam that 
the Bhumi bent under the weight of 
this Kapata Vaamana rUpi . 

The Yaaga SaalA was on the banks of NarmadhA river .
SukrAchArya and the assembled ruthvikhs were dazzled 
by the tejas of the dwarf that presented himself there . 
He came there not so much to punish MahA Bali for his
trespasses , but to bless him as the grandson of His 
devout BhakthA , PrahlAdhA . MahA Bali stopped his 
Yajnam and greeted the Brahmin dwarf full of Vedha 
Sampath . He washed the feet of the Vaamana mUrthy 
and placed that water on his head out of respect .

Srimadh Bhagavatham describes MahA Bali's happiness 
over the arrival of Vaamanan at his Yajnam :

adhya na: pithara: trupthA : adhya na: Paavitham kulam I
adhya : svishta: krathurayam yadh bavAn aagathO gruhAn II
                                             ---Srimadh Bhagavatham 8.18.30

(meaning ) : Today , my pithrUs (ancestors ) are very pleased
(fulfilled) ; my vamsam is sanctified by your arrival ; my yajnam is 
fructified .

Then , he goes on to say that he is freed of all sins by 
placing the paadhOdhakam from the Vedavith and the whole
yaaga saalA has become purified . MahA Bali then asks 
the vaamana mUrthy to choose a gift . The kapata Vaamanan 
asks for three feet of land . MahA Bali is offended by this
modest request . He goads the Vaamanan to ask for some thing 
more fitting his rank as an emperor. The kapata Vaamanan 
insists on just three feet of land ( BhUmim paadha traya parimithAm
prArhtayAmAseetha tvam ) . SukrAchArya begins to understand 
the intent of the Kapata Vaamanan and warns his sishyan 
against giving such a dhanam requested by the dwarf , whom
he recognizes as none other than Hari NaarAyaNan . MahA Bali refuses 
to go back on his word and deeds the gift requested . He pours
the water on the hands of the Dwarf BrahmachAri and AT THAT 
INSTANT , the Lord transformed from the Vaamana to Trivikrama
rUpam and shot up skyward and measured both the sky and the 
entire earth with His two steps . 

The Lord then asked MahA Bali as to where He should place
His third step . THe AsurA king begged the Lord to place His 
third step on his head and the Lord obliged . Out of His affection
for the gandson of PrahlAdhA , the Lord created a lOkam known as 
Suthalam and settled MahA bali there with his family and retinue 
and protected the asurA kng there by being as his rakshakan .

Swami Desikan's celebration of TrivikramAvathAram 
***********************************************************
In the eighth verse of MummaNikkOvai , our AchAryA 
salutes the Trivikraman this way :

aaraNangaL thEda vayindhainagar vandhuthittha
kAraNanAi ninra kadalvaNNan --nAraNanAr
ippatikku mikkanreduttha paadhankazhuva
meypadikka maanathu pon verpu  

(Meaning ) : The Lord , who is being sought by the VedAs 
appeared and settled at Thiruvaheendrapuram as
DevanAthA  and illumines this kshEthram as the primeval 
cause of this world ( Jagath kaaraNa bhoothan ) . This Lord 
having the hue of the bluish ocean excelled once before as 
Trivikraman , who measured with two steps the earth and 
the sky and had His son , BrahmA wash His sacred feet with  
the Kamandalu theertham , which was received by the golden 
mountain , MEru serving as  a receptacle ( receiving/storing 
vessel ) . 

Sri TrivikramAya Nama : Sri VaamanAya Nama : 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri sadagopan